Top 15 Raspberry Pi project ideas for beginners

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Robotics and Artificial Intelligence are fields that are advancing rapidly.

Equipping yourself with experience in these domains will help you in your career.

So we came up with these Top 15 Raspberry Pi Project ideas, to keep you updated with the new normal.

But with the magnitude of possibilities in these domains, it may strike your mind that you need a massive computer with high computational capacity.

Though it might sound unrealistic, it is quite possible to work on these projects from home. All you would need is a Raspberry Pi board to get started.

Key Takeaways

  • 15 real-time Raspberry Pi project ideas for engineering students involving automation that can be implemented in industry and everyday life
  • Popularly used Python libraries with Pi for applications of image processing, game development and web applications
  • Walkthrough on how to proceed with each of these projects with the different Python and Pi modules that can be added

What is Raspberry Pi?

Raspberry Pi is a pocket-sized computer that has GPIO pins for connecting to other peripherals and sensors.

The Pi is a trusted development platform with high processor speed and high RAM. It has an ARM architecture processor and supports different programming languages

Now without wasting any more of your time, let’s get straight into the list of Top 15 raspberry pi project ideas:

1. WhatsApp automation

This is one exciting project to work on. Most businesses are using Whatsapp to connect with customers as it has over 2 billion customers across the world. 

While the WhatsApp business has a lot of features, it’s not enough these days. 

In this project, you will use the PyAutoGUI Python package and launch WhatsApp web on Pi. Then, your program will read the messages and respond with appropriate answers automatically.

2. Rock, Paper and Scissors game

This project will enable you to build a game model to play rock, paper and scissors with Pi. First, you will have to gather a data set with relevant images of hand gestures of rock, paper, scissors and nothing. 

You will then train the model to detect gestures made by the player. After this, you’ll use trainer data to recognise the gesture while Pi will make a random move.

Finally, Pi will compare the images and declare the winner.

Remember, you will need Tensorflow and OpenCV installed on your Pi board.

3. Talking alarm clock

Isn’t it boring to have the alarm clock going every day with its dull tune? Wouldn’t you rather want that your alarm clock was as sophisticated as the one in the Iron Man movie?

In this project, you can install Espeak Engine on your Pi. This package will help you with your alarm clock telling you the time, weather and other information you have programmed.

You can develop the GUI part of your alarm clock with Python PyQt4. There are many ways to build the GUI part, but this would be an easy way out.

4. Number plate recognition system

In this project, you will be developing a model to read number plates on vehicles. This is quite helpful for surveillance activities. It is very much needed with the grappling traffic in the country.

What is interesting about the project is that while some State Governments have already implemented this for traffic control, many are yet to do so.

In this project, you will first resize the image and convert it to grayscale. Then you find the contours of the number plate because the rest of the image is meaningless.

Following this, every character has to be segmented and finally recognised.

You will have to use OpenCV for Image-Based Identification of the number plate.

If you are looking for Computer Science projects that can add to your resume, this would be a good start.

5. Twitter Bot

Twitter has become an integral part of our life, be it personal or business. For business especially, it is difficult to keep track of everything – read and post regularly. Twitter Bot can do this for you!

In this project, you will be installing Twython for setting up the interface between Pi and Twitter. Then, you will write a Python script to automate your posts after setting the timing.

This is one of the popular projects on Raspberry Pi.

6. Line Follower Robot

If you are into robotics, this would be your first project to start with. It can be your starting point for building cool robots. Even the advanced Amazon Kiva Robot uses this as the base!

You would need Raspberry Pi, 2 IR sensors, 2 DC gear motors, an L293D motor driver, chaises and a power bank.

You can check the circuit diagram above and assemble your device. Then you can write your Python code by following the black line. Set it up, and you would have your line follower robot running!

7. Face Mask recognition system

This is a much-needed project during this looming pandemic. One of the problems is that people are not wearing masks even with the increasing number of COVID-19 cases.

In this project, you will use OpenCV to gather information on the dataset and then run a Python script to recognise face masks.

8. Social Distancing Checker

This is again the need of the hour kind of project idea. Here, you’ll be using OpenCV and Pi to capture the images. Then you’ll deploy Deep Learning algorithms to find the distance between any two people.

You will capture the images of people on camera and transfer them to the Pi board. Then, you will train the images to set the optimal distance between any two persons.

Later, you will run the test data to check whether people are following social distancing.

9. Drowsiness Detection System

One of the main reasons for accidents is drivers falling asleep while driving. 

In this unique raspberry pi project idea for beginners, you will be capturing the video and converting it into image frames. Then you feed the Pi with images of people sleeping and people staying awake.

You can use OpenCV for digital image processing. For getting updates about eye movement, you will use the eye game function to check if a person is falling asleep.

Then, with Python script, you can send back a message whenever the driver falls asleep.

10. Radio streaming using Raspberry Pi

In this project, you will be setting up a radio streaming station using DarkIce and Icecast. DarkIce is a live audio streamer that records from an audio interface.

Icecast is a media streaming server supporting various streams such as MP3 and Opus.

You can run it on Pi and you will have your own radio streaming. Just ensure that you have the Pi updated to the latest version.

11. Voice assistant to control systems

In this project, you will build a voice assistant to glow an LED. You will need Raspbian Pi OS on your Pi.

Then you will have to set up Amazon Developer and Alexa on the Pi. Then, set up PubNub and IFTTT for Alexa automation.

Then with Python script, you have the voice assistant control your home such as making an LED glow.

12. Ball Tracking Robot

You will be using image processing to trackball movement. For the project, you can use OpenCV for Image-Based Objection recognition.

You can also use the GPIO library for the same. The latter one is much simpler for processing.

You will also need processing ARM installed on Pi. Then you’ll write a script to identify the ball by checking for the ball colour. Using pixel by pixel colour change, you will be able to track the ball.

13. LED Blinking

This is a very simple project in which you will make LED lights blink. For this, you will be connecting the LED lights to GPIO pins in the Pi. You need not configure all of them. 

You can configure the ones you will be using and then with a Python script, you will be performing the blink function.

You can set the time interval for each blink. You can also configure it to see different patterns of LED blinking.

14. QR Code Scanner 

For this project, you will use OpenCV and the ZBar library. ZBar is the library for decoding different types of barcodes and QR codes.

OpenCV is used to capture image frames from video feeds. Then, the captured frame is sent to a Python script for processing.

Install the ZBar library so you can use it to decode the barcode and convert it to useful information.

15. Optical Character Recognition System

This is another one of the most interesting projects to work on.

You will be using Pi to recognize characters and read information from boards. This would be very useful for futuristic projects involving automation and robotics.

The Robot can be equipped to read information and process it.

You will be using the Google Tesseract-OCR engine with OpenCV and Python to identify characters from images. With the help of the OpenCV library, you will be able to remove noise from the images.

Moving on, by using Google Tesseract-OCR and Python script, you will be able to decode information from the image.

Conclusion

Raspberry Pi is one of the most used platforms for building innovative and disruptive applications in the fields of robotics and machine learning.

It is affordable and has high computational power making it available for everyone to work on industrial projects. 

Moreover, it operates in the Open Source ecosystem. So it is easy to seek help whenever you are stuck while working on projects.

The Raspberry pi project ideas in the blog can get you started with working on some most needed applications today. 

But some of them would require little experience with other mini-projects. So, the idea here is to start with easy ones and then proceed to complex project ideas.

You can learn Python which would help you a great deal while working on projects.

And if you are looking toward building new applications, this would be the starting point for a long journey with Pi and automation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

What can you do with Raspberry Pi?

You can work on advanced projects with real-time applications in the fields of Robotics and the Internet of Things. You can easily build even complex systems such as a Voice Recognition system to suit your needs!

How do I learn to program Raspberry Pi?

You can start by learning the basics of programming in Raspberry Pi. RaspberryPi.org is the official website and is a good place to start learning the basics. 

You can also check the books Programming the Raspberry Pi: Getting Started with Python and Raspberry Pi Cookbook: Software and Hardware Problems and Solutions by Simon Monk. These are pretty self-explanatory.

Is it possible to set up Raspberry Pi with a laptop?

Yes, you can set it up by installing Raspberry Pi OS on your SD card and configuring it for an internet connection. Then you can connect to your Raspberry Pi with an SSH connection.

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